Many vapers are pet owners – we love hanging out with our furry friends. That’s why we sometimes get asked it vaping around pets is a bad idea.
Of course, smoking around your pets has always frowned upon. Many of us forget that all the harmful effects of secondhand smoke can affect our pets. Vaping is significantly safer for any other residents in your home – whether they be of the two-legged or four-legged variety. Your pets will definitely thank you for the clearer air!
However, there is one important fact you need to keep in mind if you have a cat:
PG is harmful for cats
Studies conducted on propylene glycol – one of the main ingredients commonly found in vape juice – have shown that it is harmful to cats. PG makes your feline friend’s body produce more “Heinz bodies” in their blood. These are red blood cells that have destabilised and therefore aren’t carrying oxygen around your cat's body as effectively as they should.
This isn’t unique to cats, but cats have a specific weakness for Heinz bodies that means this is more likely to occur. PG was actually used as a preservative in cat food until the 1990s, when this was discovered. It’s still used in many other pet and human food products, but not in anything fed to cats.
Using your e-cig around your cats
Ideally, you should minimise your cat’s exposure to PG. The impact on cats is dose-dependent, so the very low dosage your cat will be exposed to through inhaling some PG in the air will likely have little to no effect. The PG studied by researchers was part of the cat’s diet, and constituted a significantly higher dosage than what the cat will get by inhaling your vapor.
However, it’s important to be aware of the (small) risk. Make sure you or your friends don’t vape directly into your cat’s face, and if possible, try not to vape in the rooms where you cat spends most of their time. If you’re a heavy vaper using high PG e-juice in a small home, it might be a good idea to vape outside or put your cats outside while you vape so you’re not exposing them to a high dose.
Look out for symptoms
Keep an eye on your cat for symptoms of anemia. These include fever, weakness, loss of appetite, discolouration of skin, and reddish brown urine in severe cases. If you notice anything unusual, stop vaping around your cat and take them to the vet immediately.
Remember, the risk of your cat receiving a high dose of PG from your vaping is minimal, but it’s definitely a good idea to keep an eye on them to make sure they’re happy. Always be mindful of your pets when you’re vaping. Dogs and cats have a heightened sense of smell that may be irritated by strong flavours and changes in the air.
Be good to your pets, and they’ll be great company for many years to come.